Lion's Eye Favorite: Falafel Ball
July 25, 2009
Hundreds of Exonians turned out for dancing, fortunetelling, eating and music at Exeter's recent Falafel Ball, billed as a Middle Eastern Bazaar.
Karim Nagi, a teacher of Arab music, dance and culture, visited campus for an all-school Assembly and to perform at the ball. At Assembly, he played drums and cymbals, and performed Arab folk dance.
Nagi, who has come to Exeter seven years running, sees his visits as a way to bridge cultural differences through education. "It's a chance for us to be human with each other, not statistics," said Nagi, an Egyptian, to the students at Assembly. "Come to the Falafel Ball to learn about other cultures. It will make it easier to solve problems in the future."
At the following evening's Falafel Ball, students, faculty and staff enjoyed line dancing, Henna hand decorations, Middle Eastern food and music performed by Nagi's 3-person band. PEA's belly dancing class also performed.
Students also had the chance to sign "A Declaration for Peace," which starts with these words:
"We, members of the community of Phillips Exeter Academy – having deep concerns and, in many cases, real and symbolic ties to the land and peoples of the Middle East…are anguished by the events in Israel and Gaza. Recognizing the legitimate needs of all peoples, including all those living in the Middle East, for dignity, peace, safety and security…regardless of religion, race or national origin, we come together in this joint statement of hope and belief that our voices will be heard clearly, above the din of war."
Seeds of Peace, an organization dedicated to "empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence." Two Exeter graduates, Parnian Nazary '06 and Tamer Shabaneh '03, attended the ball to speak about their experiences with Seeds of Peace.The ball is a benefit for
Falafel Ball is sponsored by the Middle Eastern Society and the Student Activities Department.
Interested in learning more?
Read more about the Middle Eastern Society, which is sponsoring a student study group on the Israel-Palestine conflict, led by Andrew Hertig, history instructor, and Kathy Brownback, chair of the Religion Department…
Lion's note: this story first appeared on February 27, 2009.